In today’s society, the cost and delays of resolving conflicts or disputes through litigation and the courts has increased dramatically. As an alternative, an approach to resolving conflicts or disputes called Alternative Dispute Resolution has gained considerable recognition and acceptance among parties involved in conflict resolution.
The Alternative Dispute Resolution alternatives to litigation include: negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. In negotiations, the negotiators’ challenge is to get their opponent to agree to give them what they want. In mediation, the negotiators have the presence of a mediator who assists the parties in trying to reach agreement with each other. And, in arbitration the parties’ goal is to convince the arbitrator to decide in their favor. These Alternative Dispute Resolution techniques can be used to resolve any and all conflicts or disputes.
The advantages of mediation as an Alternative Dispute Resolution technique is that it is a voluntary process that can be very flexible and be structured to meet the specific needs of the parties. Parties to a mediation gain a greater understanding of the issues and are more likely to reach a mutually agreeable resolution to their conflicts.
An Alternative Dispute Resolution technique such as mediation is far less stressful and adversarial than going to court, and the parties’ energy is more productively channeled. And finally, an Alternative Dispute Resolution technique such as mediation usually saves time, is less costly, and more convenient to the parties.